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St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Hosting a dinner party for St. Patrick’s Day? For stress free entertaining, use your crock pot to make the perfect corned beef and cabbage. Add beef and vegetables to the crockpot in the morning and it will be ready by dinner time!

And to accompany your meal is an easy Irish Soda Bread recipe. You can make the dough ahead of time and place in the oven an hour before dinner or you can bake ahead and freeze, as noted below.

Corned Beef Brisket is a cut of meat that has been cured (pickled) in seasoned brine. The brisket is a tough cut of meat and requires slow and low cooking, which is why I use the crock pot.

If you prefer a wine driven celebration instead of beer, Pinot Noir is great choice as a fuller-bodied red, like Cabernet Sauvignon,  may have strong tannins which can leave a bitter taste in your mouth when paired with salty foods.


  • Slicing the meat against the grain will prevent the meat from being tough and chewy

  • As the meat comes in a package pre brined, don’t add salt during the cooking process  

  • To reduce sodium, you can rinse the meat with water before cooking

  • Cabbage cooks very quickly and will get soggy, so add cabbage the last 30-45 minutes

  • Use leftovers for sandwiches or dice them to make corned beef hash  

  • If you prefer not to make the gravy, serve with mustard and horseradish on the side

Corned Beef and Cabbage


6-8 red or Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into wedges

1 onion, cut into wedges

4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 lb corned beef brisket with seasoning packet

3 Tablespoons mustard

½ cup brown sugar

1 head cabbage, cut through the core into 8 wedges

1 bottle of dark beer, such as Guinness  ( or 2 cups of red wine)


2 Tablespoons mustard

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon horseradish

1/2 cup brown sugar or honey


Place potatoes, onion, carrots, and garlic in the crock pot. Place brisket, fat side down, over the vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, brown sugar and seasoning packet. Spread the mixture on top of the corned beef.  Pour in beer (or wine).

Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is fork tender. Add cabbage around the meat and push down to immerse in liquid. Cover lid and continue to cook for about 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.

Remove meat from the crock pot and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare the gravy.

Remove vegetables from the crock pot. Place crock pot insert on the stove and bring sauce to boil.

( make sure your insert is stove top safe, otherwise place liquid in a saucepan).

Stir in mustard, Worcestershire, horseradish and brown sugar. Simmer until gravy is reduced by half.

To serve:  slice the corned beef against the grain and place on a serving platter along with the vegetables and gravy.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread freezes well so you can make this ahead and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature while the beef is cooking, then reheat as desired.


4 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons to sprinkle on top)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt 4 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1 ½  cups buttermilk

1 egg

1 cup raisins, currents or other dried fruit ( optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3 Tablespoons sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or 2 knives until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Measure buttermilk and add the egg into the measuring cup, whisking lightly with a fork to incorporate. Pour into the flour mixture, along with dried fruit and stir together just until mixed.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to shape into a round loaf. (Do not over knead)

Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a lightly greased cast iron skillet.

With a knife, score top the of dough in a “X” shape to help heat get into the center of the dough while it bakes.

Sprinkle remaining sugar on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter.

Enjoy your fabulous dinner on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day!


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